The Moster Squad : 20th anniversary edition
Director: Fred Dekker
Starring Andre Gower, Duncan Regehr, Stephen Macht, Stan Shaw,& Tom Noonan
After being neglected by the DVD format for the last 20 years, Lionsgate has released one of my childhood favorite films, The Monster Squad and they didn't skimp on the extras one bit.
I was in the 4th grade when I originally saw The Monster Squad way back in 1987 and my memories of it are very fond and warm. So it was with much enthusiasm that I picked up this 20th anniversary edition and after 20 years the film still holds up well. The story is basically all of Universals Classic monsters coming back to face off with a group of kids that call themselves the Monster Squad. That's right Dracula, The Creature from the black lagoon, the Mummy, Frankensteins Monsters, and the Wolf man are after a special artifact that will give the monsters power over the world. But they're going to have a little trouble thanks to a group of kids that are making it their mission to stop them before its too late!
I remember loving this movie as a kid but I never saw it again in the 20 years since its release. I have to say that it is stil a lot of fun and a great way to spend 90 minutes. The Storyline is pretty much what you expect. An ensemble of kids ranging from cool to geeky that come together and start their own club called the Monster Squad. Much like the Goonies this film is a prepubescent kids dream only with monsters instead of pirates. Where this film excels above Goonies in my opinion is that the kids really aren't annoying one bit. They all seem pretty real and very reminscent of kids I knew in 1987. There's no constant screaming and yelling and the characters are all very likable. Unfortaunatly the movie didn't do well when it originally came out. It was too scary for kids and to kiddy for adults so it never did well. However the following for the movie grew on video and that following only got stronger over the years.
This remastered wide screen version of the film looks amazing. Definitely the best this movie has ever looked. The colors are sharp, the blacks are black and the pastel clothing is bright!
This film definitely deserves some love after being neglected for so long but Lionsgate may have given it a bit too much love. The feature contains 2 full length commentaries with the stars and the director. The Second disc is jammed with extras. The first a feature length documentary on the making of the film from idea to last year at a special screening of the film in Cherry Hill NJ. The documentary tells you all you need to know about the making of the film from conception to marketing to revival. Interviews with the stars, special effects personnel, director and producers provides more insight in the film then you could ever imagine. While it does seem a bit overlong and at times can drag but it was still a lot of fun to watch.
Rounding out the disc are deleted scenes, an interview with Tom Noonan as Frankenstein which is a bit weird, still galleries, trailers and TV spots. This is the definitive Monster Squad.
If you grew up in the 80's then this disc is almost required to own. The movie has held up very well and the extras are amazing. The monster Squad is one of the greatest Monster movies ever made and is easily better than modern monster fare such as The Mummy and Van Helsing. It's a perfect movie for a dark October night!
Movie: 4 out of 5 Bloody Axes
DVD Extras: 5 out of 5 Bloody Axes